BLACK BEAN SOUP WITH RUM (for four)
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
6 parsley sprigs
2 fresh thyme sprigs or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large ham hock (about 1-1/4 pounds)
2 cups dried black beans, picked over, soaked in cold water to cover overnight and drained
6 cups beef broth
1/3 cup dark rum
lemon juice to taste
chopped hard boiled eggs, chopped fresh parsley and lemon slices for garnish
1. In a heavy kettle cook the onion, celery, parsley, thyme and bay leaf in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, for 10 minutes.
2. Add the ham hock, beans, broth 4 cups water and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, adding more water as necessary to keep the beans covered, for 3 hours.
3. Discard the ham hock and the bay leaf, put the mixture through the medium disk of a food mill into a large bowl, and return it to the cleaned kettle.
4. Stir in the rum, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Thin the soup to the desired consistency with hot water and garnish it with eggs, parsley and lemon slices.
from Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz, Gourmet Magazine, January, 1991